Sustainability and transparency key, finds Vitafoods

By Kavitha Sivasubramaniam

- Last updated on GMT

Sustainability and transparency key, finds Vitafoods

Related tags Vitafoods europe Sustainability Transparency

The themes of sustainability and transparency in the supply chain were two of the hot topics that took centre stage at this year’s Vitafoods Europe.

Speakers and delegates discussed these issues and more at the event held on 10-12 May in Geneva, Switzerland.

Tightening supplies

Heather Granato, VP of Content at Vitafoods, says: “What we’re seeing in Ukraine will have a massive impact across all parts of the industry, it’s not just when we think about wheat or when we think about sunflower.

“Other geos will tighten their own supplies because it’s like oil and gas – when there are problems elsewhere you tend to be a little closed with what you have available.”

Granato believes problems with the botanical supply chain will also continue – including the issue of botanical sourcing, botanical production and vitamin production – but says at the same time there are positives.

She adds: “There is a lot of interest in how we can find alternative solutions to current ingredients so you’ll see ingredient substitution as well, while folks look for new opportunities.”

Transparency and sustainability

One of the interesting transparency issues is around collagen supplements and more transparency is needed in this area, according to Granato.

She highlights that mislabelling of “vegan” collagen supplements can cause confusion in the category.

Granato says: “There is a need to be transparent. What are the ingredients in the formula and where are you sourcing them? And how are you are sourcing them?”

Asking more questions about where ingredients come from and the people who are doing that also ensures the sustainability, she explains.

Granato says: “There’s an interest and consumer demand around sustainability.

“Europe is a leading geo in this area, so the ingredient suppliers understand that that’s important, but I also think people are doing it because it’s the right thing to do – it’s the right for their business and it’s the right thing for their customers.”

Other takeaways

Other industry trends that came to the fore during Vitafoods include active nutrition, with a shift in focus away from sports and more towards how to maintain an active lifestyle.

Granato says: “There’s been a lot of protein and different kinds of protein because that also aligns with that sustainability messaging."

Joint health has also gone beyond just being about looking after joints in old age, but how to maintain healthy joints in general.

“How do you continue to be active and support your joints? It goes back to collagen and hyaluronic acid, but with more research being done on recovery in athletes,”​ explains Granato.

Mental health and wellbeing also featured heavily at the show, with lots of products available to help with sleep and stress.

Granato says: “Interestingly there’s a lot more CBD coming into Europe depending on where you are. The regulations are continuing to shift and there could be potential. At the same time, when you’re looking at the science what you’re hoping for is the actual substantiation, so an alternative ingredient like a PDA has interesting support for mental wellbeing and anxiety.”

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